The key to making this dish is to use fresh tomatoes and slow-cook it until the meat becomes tender, doing so releases the natural oil of tomatoes and meat…it’s simply delicious. This is one of my favorite dish to cook when tomatoes are in season and this is perfect when you are busy, you can make it ahead of time; like, I cook it while making lunch for example and I just leave it on the stove simmering on very low heat for about 1-2 hours and I know that dinner is already taken care of.
Sarciado is more commonly done with fish, you fry the fish first and then pour the sauteed tomatoes over it, you can also do it with left-over fried fish they are both delicious but I like the pork version better because it’s really something when the pork is slow-cooked and gets really, really tender, I don’t know how to describe it… maybe you know what I’m talking about, or not..just try it for yourself to find out.
I usually use the kasim or shoulder part cut of the meat because they are more tender then I mix in some liempo (pork belly) for more flavor. I’ve done this dish with chicken and it’s just as good, I have got to try it with beef sometime.
PORK & TOMATO STEW
500 g pork belly or pork, cut into cubes
1 large red onion, minced
some garlic, minced
about 2 cups diced tomatoes
3-4 pieces green and red chili peppers ( cut the tips off)
about 12 pieces baby potatoes, cut in half
patis (fish sauce) to taste
salt and pepper to taste
extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO) for sauteeing
Heat about a tablespoon of EVOO in a non-stick saucepan; saute the minced garlic and onion for about a minute then add the pork, season with salt and pepper. Set the heat on high and with constant stirring cook the pork until it is browned and caramelized. Add the chopped tomatoes and saute for about a minute, the tomatoes will release it’s juices, keep on stirring while cooking until the juice evaporates and the tomatoes are really tender and mushy, sometimes it will take a while so lower the heat to medium and let it cook until it dries up then pour in 2 cups of water. Season with fish sauce (patis) and some more pepper, add in the green chili peppers, cut the tips so it will release the heat, or leave it whole if you don’t like it hot.
Cover the saucepan and bring to a boil on high heat and then lower the heat to let it simmer gently until about 3/4 of the liquid is gone (1-2 hours), set your timer lest you forget that you’re cooking something (I do forget it sometimes), add the baby potatoes and cook some more until the potatoes are done. That’s it. Now did you remember to cook the rice?